By Bill Minahan | March 6, 2020 | 0 Comments
The coronavirus is a contagious disease that is spreading around the globe which has caused a number of organizations to implement remote working. There have been over 425,600 cases since the end of December 2019. The coronavirus has impacted business and the global economy.
As more businesses direct employees to work from home because of the coronavirus, security issues are arising. Few organizations feel prepared for large-scale remote work, but you can take steps to strengthen your policies and prepare for security issues that accompany remote work.
Coronaviruses (CoV) are a large family of viruses that cause illnesses ranging from the common cold to more serious diseases. A novel coronavirus (nCoV) is a new strain that has not been previously identified in humans.
The current novel coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak is currently spreading around the globe. It was first reported in Wuhan, China, On December 31, 2019. Since then, it has been detected in at least 168 countries and has sickened more than 425,600 people.
As of March 25, 2020, there have been at least 19,301 deaths, all but half in mainland China. In the United States, there have been 53,852 confirmed cases of the coronavirus and 728 deaths.
The coronavirus can be transmitted between animals and people. Animals are the source of the virus; however, COVID-19 is now spreading from one person to another (human-to-human transmission).
People can catch the virus from others who have the virus. The disease can spread from person to person through small droplets from the nose or mouth which spread when a person who is infected coughs or exhales.
These droplets land on objects and surfaces around the person. Other people then catch the virus by touching these objects or surfaces, then touching their eyes, nose, or mouth. You can also catch the coronavirus from breathing in droplets from an infected person who coughs out or exhales droplets.
As a result, it’s important to stay more than 1 meter (3 feet) away from a person who is sick.
The spread of the coronavirus could impact your business. The coronavirus outbreak has disrupted the stock markets and supply chains around the world.
Economists say a pandemic could clearly cause a recession in the United States. However, for that to happen the effects would have to be felt beyond manufacturing, tourism, and other industries directly impacted by the disease.
The coronavirus is evolving and it’s hard to predict with any certainty the full extent of the economic impact.
However, it has already impacted people’s day to day lives, as many businesses near outbreaks have required self-imposed quarantine to stop the spread of the coronavirus.
Businesses who have had employees travel to China, Japan, Italy, or any of the other countries that are currently experiencing outbreaks, are requiring said employees to work remotely for at least 2 weeks before returning to business as normal.
Furthermore, many big-name companies have taken strides to stop the spread. Google’s headquarters in Dublin has sent out an injunction to its 8,000 employees to work from home as a precaution against the virus.
Additionally, Twitter has publicly urged its global staff of 5,000 people to work from home.
Amazon, Microsoft, and dozens of other companies on the west coast are enforcing remote work policies to minimize the spread of the coronavirus.
However, many organizations don’t feel well prepared to have employees work remotely on such a large scale. Read on to learn about the risks associated with working from home and how you can solve them.
The business world is currently being forced into the largest remote working experiment as a result of the coronavirus. Consequently, many organizations are struggling to implement remote working policies and carry out their business contingency plans.
In many affected countries, governments have mandated or recommended remote working for all employees. As a result, organizations have had to quickly review and modify existing policies.
One of the biggest threats surrounding remote working is the security issues that arise from individuals accessing corporate data remotely. The underlying threat is the inability to properly enforce security measures.
Remote working requires management trust that employees will abide by security policies and controls.
Specifically, here are some of the biggest security threats of remote working during the coronavirus outbreak:
As a business owner, the widespread outbreak is out of your hands. However, you still can take steps to create a safe and productive work environment for your employees. If the outbreak reaches a point where you must establish a company-wide work-from-home policy, then you should be prepared.
Here is a list of steps you can take to ensure your employees are safely working from home:
If your organization needs assistance in creating and implementing security policies, our security analysts can help you get started. The World Health Organization (WHO) has described the risk of the coronavirus as “very high”.
The last thing you want is your organization scrambling to enforce and document remote working policies last minute. Your organization should prepare to securely establish remote working if the outbreak reaches the area surrounding your physical office.
The coronavirus may force your organization to implement remote working. If it does, then you should be ready.
If you need assistance establishing a VPN, enabling multifactor authentication, or writing thorough security policies that cover all the bases, then schedule a free meeting with one of our analysts to get started.